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The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore, 165
Are what ten thousand envy and adore :
All, all look up, with reverential Awe,
At Crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law:
While Truth, Worth, Wisdom, daily they decry-
Nothing is Sacred now but Villainy.” 170

Yet may this Verse (if such a Verse remain) Show, there was one who held it in disdain.

NOTE s. • Ver. 165. The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore

Are what ten thousand envy and adore:)–And no wonder, for the Wit of Cheats being the evasion of Justice, and the Cou' age of a Whire the contempt of reputation; these emancipate men from the two tyrannical restraints upon free {pirits, fear of punishment, and dread of name. SCRIBL.


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T IS all a Libel-Paxton (Sir) will say.
T P. Not yet, my Friend ! to-morrow

'faith it may;
And for that very cause I print to-day.
How should I fret to mangle ev'ry line,
In rev’rence to the Sins of Thirty-nine ?
Vice with such Giant strides comes on amain,
Invention strives to be before in vain;
Feign what I will, and paint it e’er so strong,
Somes rising Genius fins up to my Song.


Ver. 1. Paxton] Late sollicitor to the Treasury

Ver. 8. Feign what I will, &c.] The Poet has here introduced an oblique apology for himself with great art. You attack personal characters, say his enemies. No, replies he, I paint merely from my invention ; and then, to prevent a likeness, I aggravate the features. But alas !

F. Yet none but you by Name the guilty lash; Ev'n Guthry faves half Newgate by a Dash. 11 Spare then the Person, and expose the Vice. P. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper, but the

Dice? Come on then, Satire! gen'ral, unconfin'd, Spread thy broad wing, and souse on all the kind. Ye Statesinen, Priests, of one Religion all! 16 Ye Tradesmen, vile, in Army, Court, or Hall! Ye Rev'rend Atheists. F. Scandal! name them,

Who? P. Why that's the thing you bid me not to do. Who starv'd a Sister, who forswore a Debt, 20 I never nam'd; the Town's enquiring yet. The pois’ning Dame-F. You mean-P. I don't.

F. You do. P. See, now I keep the Secret, and not you! The bribing Statesman-F. Hold, too high you

go. P: The brib’d Elector—F. There you stoop too low,

NOTE s. the growth of vice is so monstrously sudden, that it rises up to a resemblance before I can get from the press.

VER. 11. Evn Guthry] The Ordinary of Newgate, who publishes the Memoirs of the Malefactors, and is often prevailed upon to be so tender of their reputation, as to set down no more than the initials of their name. P.

Ver. 13. How, Sir! not damn the Sharper! but the Dice?] It is pity that the liveliness of the reply cannot excuse the bad realoning: The dice, though they rhyme to vice, can never Itand for it; which his argument requires they should do,


P. Ifain would please you, if I knew with what; Tell me, which Knave is lawful Game, which


Must great Offenders, once escap'd the Crown,
Like Royal Harts, be never more run down?
Admit your Law to spare the Knight requires,
As beasts of Nature may we hunt the Squires? 31
Suppose I censure—you know what I mean-
To save a Bishop, may I name a Dean?

NOT E s. For dice are only the instruments of fraud; but the question is not, whether the instrument, but whether the act committed by it, should be exposed, instead of the perfon. Ver. 26. I sain would pleaė you, if I knew with what;

Tell one, which Knave is lawful Game, which not?] I have observed, that our Author has invented, and introduced into his writings, a new species of the sublime, by heightening it with wit. There is a species of eloquence in his works (of which these lines are an instance) almost as peculiar to him; which he has produced by employing the simples and tritest phrases to prevent stiffness; and yet, by a supreme effort of his art, giving them the dignity of the most select. Quintilian was so sensible of the lustre which this throws upon true eloquence, under a masterly direction, and at the same time, of the prejudices against it, from the difficulty of succeeding in it; that he says, Utinam-at verba in ufu quotidiano posita minus timeremus.

VER. 29. Like Royal Harts, &c.] Alluding to the old Game laws; when our Kings spent all the time they could spare from human Naughter, in Woods and Forests.

VER. 31. As beasts of Nature may we hunt the Squires?] The expression is rough, like the subject, but without reflection : For if boasts of Nature, then not beasts of their own making; a fault too frequently objected to country Squires. However, the Latin is nobler; Ferae naturai, Things uncivilized, and free. Ferae, as the Critics say, being from the Hebrew, Pere, Aniaus filveftris. SCRIBL.

F. A Dean, Sir? No: his Fortune is not

made, You hurt a man that's rising in the Trade. 35

P. If not the Tradesman who set up to-day, Much less the 'Prentice who to-morrow may. Down, down, proud Satire ! tho’a realm be

fpoild, Arraign no mightier Thief than wretched Wild; Or, if a Court or Country's made a job, 40 Go drench a Pick-pocket, and join the Mob.

But, Sir, I beg you (for the Love of Vice !) The matter's weighty, pray consider twice; Have you less pity for the needy Cheat, The poor and friendless Villain, than the Great? Alas! the small Discredit of a Bribe 46 Scarce hurts the Lawyer, but undoes the Scribe. Then better sure it Charity becomes To tax Directors, who (thank God) have Plums;


VER. 35. You hurt a man that's rising in the Trade.] For, as the reasonable De la Bruyere observes, « Qui ne fait être un “ ERASME, doit penser à être Evêque.SCRIBL.

VFR. 39. wretched Wild,] Jonathan Wild, a famous Thief, and Thief-Impeacher, who was at last caught in his own train and hanged. P.

VER. 4.2. for the live of Vice!] We must consider the Poet as here directing his discourse to a follower of the new system of Politics and Religion, That private vices are public benefits.

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